FEMA Blocks Photos of Dead


The US government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims.

For having a violence and death-soaked media in this country. Americans sure are scared of seeing dead bodies. 

10 thoughts on “FEMA Blocks Photos of Dead

  1. Adam B.

    It’s part of being pro-life and a neoconservative — on the surface you’re a pro-lifer but deep down you do nothing to help New Orleans residents from this catastrophe and are too chicken-shit to own up to your failings as president.

    Not to mention this Administration is telling its people to ignore any criticism and to not acknowledge it in any way — to focus on the good things so it’ll seem like Bush is handling this well.

  2. RcktMan

    If you caught Oprah at all today or yesterday, you saw your share of dead bodies. She didn’t hide anything. I’m actually impressed that she did that. Only once did it make me a little queasy… but it needs to be seen. And said.

  3. Beastmomma

    Seeing dead bodies forces us to confront the shortcomings of our country. It would make many Americans angrier at this administration for their lack of response. It’s easier to avoid looking at things which could upset us, so that we can remain blissfully ignorant.

  4. palochi

    Has everybody already forgotten the controversy over the photojournalist who took pictures of the caskets returning from Iraq?

    If they don’t show the dead, they’ll only be numbers to the public — not actual people who had lives and families. It makes tragedy palatable. Karl Rove’s one smart guy to know and recommend this P.R. strategy.

  5. David Cerda

    I actually see both sides of the coin. Ultimately I think it needs to be seen, but if I was a family member I wouldn’t want my dead grandmother’s body being shown on national television decaying on the front lawn. I know ‘sensitivity’ is not the reason the administration doesn’t want bodies shown.

  6. Andy

    I’m guessing that the networks would blur out faces to make bodies unrecognizable – I think that is their protocol with war casualties.

    Still there was a guy on CNN in a parking lot where cars without bodies in them had been spraypainted with zero symbol. Then he came to one car where the windows were fogged up indicating a decaying body inside.

  7. homer

    I wonder if the once-compliant media will actually follow this “See No Evil” policy on dead bodies? Unfortunately for Bush et al., the American public isn’t particularly interested in this kinda crap anymore.

  8. Jef

    I don’t need to see corpses to understand the gravity of the situation. I prefer not to see those images. We have so many images that are thrown at us against our will, and many more available through the Internet. I’m not sure that it’s healthy to see them. Then again, people used to attend beheadings and witch burnings for sport, so maybe it really isn’t that big of a deal.

  9. Danelle

    I can accept it if they don’t want to show the bodies of dead people out of respect. I myself would be able to go on with my life if i didn’t have to see the bodies of the dead. But, you have to ask yourself are they doing this to save us the grief, or are they doing this to save themselves the grief?

    In one of my CNN emails today, it said that 25,000 body bags had just arrived in New Orleans this morning. If there is an actual potential to fill all of those body bags, which I am sure that there is, think of how many of those people could have had a chance to live within the first 4 days that no one was there to rescue them. Trully disheartening isn’t it?

  10. Mike

    I guess I’m not torn on this subject as I’ve had to ask myself:

    What is the advantage to our government in having pictures of dead bodies displayed in the media?

    None.

    These pictures are reminders of what happens. They can’t control the imagery, or the commentary. They realize the power of the media, and I’m sure have noted that the tone of the media and the questioning has gotten a little tougher lately and are concerned that this will undermine any efforts to get to the bottom of it. Pictures would be awfully inconvenient when you keep saying that “this is not the time to point fingers” and you hide behind the praise you bestow upon first responders.

    The pictures will be ugly, and uncomfortable. Maybe that’s what is needed to shock this government and its citizenry into recognizing the failure and the tragedy.

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